Organizing meet ups in most major cities for young (spirited) girls who are traveling, living or working abroad, Girl Gone International provides an outgoing, life-affirming international network. The members it attracts are women who are driven, ambitious and, most importantly, appreciate culture and are curious to learn about the world. We went along to a recent brunch to see what these ladies are all about.
Girl Gone International knows how well-traveled ladies like to spend the moments when they’re not interning, volunteering or generally running their busy international calendars: brunch is always on the menu, alongside yoga classes and salsa evenings. Any woman may join; Meetup.com and Facebook are the primary forums where, once accepted to the group, you can RSVP, post ideas for new meet ups or simply chat in the online community. With classic sophisticated flair, the Berlin-based GGI hosted one of its most recent meet ups at Tumabé – a Balinese inspired café in Schöneberg.
Tucked away in one of the slightly more well-heeled districts of Berlin, Tumabé attracts a tranquil Saturday morning crowd of dog walkers browsing in craft shops and circles of parents fortressed in cafés with their pushchairs. On the way to Tumabé, you can’t help but be drawn into the boutique shops which twinkle beyond the doorways. The well-chosen pieces and meticulous arrangements of these little shops each reveal the specialist passion of the individual who had inspired them. Artisan jewelry glitters in the cave-like stores and chic, handcrafted gifts are sequestered in amongst antique furniture and local art. The care which the residents of Schöneberg dedicate to their businesses is paralleled in their heightened consciousness of well-being. The cafés and eateries pride themselves on creating new recipes with alternative gluten-free, raw and vegan-friendly ingredients. These places aim to fill you with the sense that you are caring for your body and at the same time indulging it. Needless to say, there is also enough incense and meditation music to hypnotize any veteran yoga enthusiast.
Tumabé is no exception to this. The café-cum-shop displays a tasteful arrangement of antiques and décor inspired by the owner’s travels to Bali. The owner herself floats around lighting candles in beveled glass jars and placing them carefully in clusters around the room. You sit on low, cushioned benches at a tree trunk of a coffee table and find you cannot drag your eyes away from the sumptuous chunks of homemade cake and quiche on the counter. The menu itself changes daily based on the latest fresh ingredients purchased; thereby adding to the overall ephemerality of the place. It is amazing how, from the practical uniformity of the Berlin streets outside, the sheer elegance of Tumabé has the effect of transporting you to quite another land: a place which transcends the orient, and enlivens tradition with modern twists and international dynamism.
This atmosphere of fusion seemed apt for a group of traveling girls from around the world, keen to share their experiences and form bonds in their new city. This meet up community quickly gives you the feeling of affinity with these girls, and reassures you with the discovery of a community whose experience mirrors your own. The enthusiasm for the city and the desire to discover new activities and hidden corners is something which unites all the members. After just one meeting, you can quickly pick up all the tips and tricks for really living in Berlin.